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City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Ypsi DDA seeks facade grant applicants


Business, property owners asked to apply by Feb. 18 deadline

By Christine Laughren
Feb. 9, 2010    ·    2:26 p.m.

The City of Ypsilanti's Downtown Development Authority is coordinating a façade grant application for business and property owners in the DDA districts. 

The competitive grant program, funded through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will afford property and business owners the opportunity to obtain up to a 50 percent match for façade improvements. The grant amounts range between $25,000 and $100,000, with the match to be provided by the property/business owners.

Applications are due Feb. 18.

Jessica deBlacam, an intern with the DDA, said the DDA’s design committee would review the applications and submit the selected projects as “one community project.”

According to the application, the DDA will consider projects that are well-defined and focused. The DDA will also consider the overall impact of the project on the area, the creativity in the project design, percentage of the match, as well as project start and completion dates.

“Preference will be given to projects that can commence within 60 days of agreement execution and with funding sources that allow construction to begin in that time period,” the application states.

Last year’s Façade grant submissions were automatically rejected due to late submissions. The applications, totaling approximately $900,000 worth of improvements to five buildings in Depot Town and one in Downtown, were submitted electronically approximately 10 minutes late making them ineligible for review. Brian Vosburg, Ypsilanti’s former DDA director, resigned a month later.

In a discussion during the DDA’s Executive Committee meeting last Friday, Teresa Gillotti Ypsilanti’s Michigan State University Extension planner, said Ypsilanti has received some positive feedback from those involved on the MEDC side of the grant regarding the merging of the DDA boards since Vosberg's departure. Gillotti said she was optimistic in Ypsilanti’s chance of receiving an award.

Peter Rinehart, DDA board member and owner of Bombadill's Cafe, encouraged business and property owners to apply.

"We need to keep seeing progress in our developed business districts, and façade grants are a good way to let the community know that we are sill active, involved and engaged in bettering our businesses," he said.

All applicants must submit their information in a single submission to the DDA in a digital format. Commonly used file formats are preferred including Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat. No paper copies will be accepted.

The DDA's design committee will meet Feb. 22 to prioritize the submitted projects. The packet will then be submitted to the State for its March 5 deadline.

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